Public’s input crucial for initiatives

The City of Rossland is moving forward with some very important initiatives in the next few months. It is important that the community is aware that their input is extremely relevant to the discussions in setting our course for the next few years.

The City of Rossland is moving forward with some very important initiatives in the next few months. It is important that the community is aware that their input is extremely relevant to the discussions in setting our course for the next few years.

Zoning Bylaw Revision

The zoning bylaw is what governs land use within our city. The existing bylaw has been around for some time and has had considerable amendments made to it. The purpose of the revision is to bring into one document the relevant changes as well as better reflect our Official Community Plan that was developed by the citizens of Rossland  and  adopted by Council in 2008. One of the major changes to the bylaw is the addition of a residential infill zone.

This zone would allow for increasing the density on individual parcels to allow for smaller lots and potential multi-family housing on traditional single family city lots in the designated zone. This change is meant to make better use of existing infrastructure,(water, sewer lines, roads etc.) To better understand this proposed change and others that may affect individuals, there will be another public information session tonight from 5:30- 8:30 at the Prestige.

Staff will be on hand to answer any questions. Further due to the postal strike notices regarding some of the zoning changes have not reached all residences, therefore there will be further public input scheduled

Columbia /Washington infrastructure

The city consultants along  with Ministry of Transportation staff have presented a conceptual re-design of Columbia Ave., and Washington St. to the City. The conceptual design as presented carries a price tag of approx $8.7 million. The concept illustrates many innovative ideas meant to make our business area a most welcoming place and more pedestrian friendly. As well the replacement of water, sewer, and storm lines, that are vital to our sustainability.

There have been questions such as the potential increase in maintenance costs, the decrease of parking spots, the effect on snow removal, how the construction phase will effect business accessibility, all valid concerns that must be addressed.

There are two main factors that require the project moving ahead.

First of all the water, sewer, storm lines that run under Columbia and Washington are at the end of their service lives.

The detailed investigation that has been part of this process has identified that the infrastructure is “done.” A failure of one of these components will have serious implications to the downtown. Planned replacement will allow commerce to carry on with the least disruption.

Secondly, the ministry will be re-surfacing Columbia Ave. With ministry co-operation the window for infrastructure upgrades prior to resurfacing, has been extended. Once Columbia is resurfaced we should not expect the “pavers” back for 20 years.

The next step in the process will be to proceed with detailed design subject to Council approval. Further public presentations will be forthcoming, and discussions will take place regarding the individual design components.

On another note, it was a most heart warming day as the wife and I sat at lunch and watched 25 very young students walking to the Rossland Pool for their swim lesson.

We sometimes lose focus on why we live on this mountain. At times it is very easy to criticize ourselves, our neighbours ,  our motivations. Seeing these young children marching proudly to their next challenge was a great reminder of what really matters.

This procession highlighted the pride we share for the city we live in, and the realization that our mountain heritage will go on forever, just ask the Graduating Class of 2024.

Greg Granstrom is the Mayor of Rossland